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Friday, April 09, 2010

Kimberly Zoberi is Certainly Uneducated

This particular family practice doctor at Saint Louis University seems to again be coming forth with a groundless claim regarding Saint John's wort, Kava, and Valerian.

When you read her premise it is very clear she is PhRMA inculcated although she briefly refers to cognitive therapy.

Her por-drug treatment suggestions also fail to address the extreme probems with the anti-anxiety and anto-depressant dugs pushed today inmainstream medicine.

She also fails o look to nutrition issues as a related factor.

The real problem is her total failure to acknowledge the substantial scientific proof for the use and effectiveness of the very herbs he is attacking.

I've asked one of the major herbal organizations for some comments on this 'doctor' and her misguided statements. As I receive it I'll post it.
ST. LOUIS, April 9 (UPI) -- An herbal remedy for anxiety -- St. John's wort -- has not been proven, a U.S. researcher says.

Dr. Kimberly Zoberi of Saint Louis University in Missouri says not only have St. John's wort and other herbs taken for anxiety -- such as kava extract and valerian -- not been shown to be effective, but there may be safety issues.

"Patients should be extremely cautious about garnering medical advice from the Internet," Zoberi says in a statement. "There is no evidence that those medications are effective. If a patient wishes to avoid drug therapy, her doctor can suggest alternatives such as cognitive behavioral therapy."

Zoberi recommends those needing anxiety treatment consult with a healthcare professional.

The article, published in the Journal of Family Practice, also looks at prescription drug regimens for patients with anxiety and notes the first-line treatment prescribed by physicians are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are safe, effective and more affordable. However, some patients suffer sexual or gastrointestinal side effects.

Some anti-convulsant drugs offer quick and effective anxiety relief without the side effects of other treatments, Zoberi says, but on the downside, they are relatively expensive.

HerbalEGram: Volume 7, Number 5, May 2010

Survey Reveals Doctors Know Little about Herbal Medicine

According to results of a survey conducted in January 2010 and published in April, many medical professionals, primarily in the United Kingdom, know very little about herbal medicine.1 Only 164 (14%) of the 1,157 randomly queried Drug and Therapeutic Bulletin (DTB) subscribers responded, most of whom were practicing physicians (76.7%) and the remaining being various other types of healthcare professionals. About 88% of the responders were located in the United Kingdom.

Despite the small number of responders, the results of the survey have notable majorities: 71.8% responded that they believe the public has a misplaced faith in herbal medicines, 84.1% do not believe herbal medicine is well regulated, and 62.8% said they did not provide general herbal medicine information to their patients. Furthermore, 75.5% of respondents believe that doctors are poorly informed about herbal medicines while 46.6% admitted to being poorly informed themselves. Of the 21.3% who responded that they wouldn’t seek more information about an herbal medicine their patient was taking, 60% said they were unsure where to seek such information. Overall, 50% said they’d use Google or similar Internet tools if they were to seek such information.

“I would suggest that that’s a terrible source of information where herbal medicine is concerned,” said Michael McIntyre, chairman of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association and a member of the UK Department of Health Herbal Medicine Regulatory Working Group, in a podcast released with the survey.2 “You could get terrible information, wrong information, and I certainly wouldn’t advise patients to do that so I wouldn’t advise doctors to do it either.”

Herbal medicine has an often confusing and conflicting online identity caused by unreliable sources posing as herbal authorities and the posting of unqualified misinformation to websites; therefore, one would need to consult a reliable herbal medicine source to get the correct information. However, this survey shows that many physicians in the United Kingdom don’t seem to know where to go for such information.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) also recently commissioned a survey through Ipsos MORI to identify the UK public’s view on herbal medicines.3 This included opinions about safety and regulation, as well as where the public obtained information on herbal medicines. According to this survey 41% of the responding British adults believed doctors would be a good source of reliable herbal information while 23% thought the same for pharmacists. Also 67% of respondents agreed that it is necessary to tell a general practitioner if one is taking herbal medicine.

According to the Ipsos MORI survey, most patients expect doctors to be well informed, said Linda Anderson, PhD, Principal Pharmaceutical Assessor at the MHRA in the podcast.2 “And I think they’d be pretty horrified if they thought the doctors were just relying on something on the Internet that wasn’t qualified.”

Likewise in the US botanical experts have described the phytomedicinal education of medical professionals as “still woefully inadequate,” as Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, told The Tan Sheet.4 Blumenthal also pointed out that “the potential for potentially serious [herb-drug] interactions still exists and all healthcare professionals, not just physicians, should be adequately trained on these potential interactions, as emerging scientific and clinical data reveal them.”

However the results seem to show that many physicians, at least in the United Kingdom, have a “lack of knowledge, a lack of understanding” and “perhaps even more worryingly, an absence of interest” in herbal medicine, said DTB Editor Ike Iheanacho in the podcast.2

For more information, see MHRA's press release on its Ipsos MORI survey, the results of the DTB survey, or the podcast discussing the DTB survey. Additional information is available at
—Kelly E. Lindner 
1. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB) Survey on Herbal Medicines. Drug Ther Bull. 2010;48(4):46–47.
2. Herbal medicines – what do clinicians know [podcast]? London, England, United Kingdom: Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. April 8, 2010.
3. Ipsos MORI report shows that 77% of adults agree that it is important that herbal medicines are regulated [press release]. London, England, United Kingdom: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency; January 12, 2009.
4. Stevenson K. UK Herbals Survey Points to Importance of Doctor Education on Supplements. The Tan Sheet. 2010;18(19):10–11. 


deerfieldparksouth said...

Very useful material, much thanks for the article.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that Dr. Zoberi is an inept physician - I learned this the hard way and it almost cost me my life. She has no idea what she's doing. Plain and simple, she is just not good at what she does.